Jump to content
5akaalsingh

The lost Sikh turban style

Recommended Posts

Looking through historical paintings related to Punjab, in general, and Sikhs, in particular, I have encountered a turban style that looks like the patkas/keskis that small kids war but also has some similarities with dumallas. This style can be seen from very early Sikh paintings of the Gurus and also in late British paintings. The turban helmet of the Sikhs was also based on this style. I think that it stopped being used in the 1850s because the triangular shaped turban; that actually had developed as a cover for the smaller turbans; became immensely popular. 

5.JPG.c57dce4e213e250f35b817bc645eaa31.JPG58b17f11c8216_9(1).JPG.3fc7b23f351115982c44ba98f9a195b0.JPG58b17f4ce8511_adianddasamprachaar.jpg.fdcbc748e19e75cb43ad281ab2ab08b9.jpgart_Sikhs5.jpg.c10e8b6a083dedce91733f383d3dc45d.jpgkhalsa_7.jpg.b5558582a51002723db588a576312bb7.jpgempire_42.jpg.0d6c82dba564884dd9d47e52202905d3.jpg7da0daa4-ecfa-46f5-8394-e084167a11f1.jpg.8c6161e78d3f9e3411f1eda9107e7397.jpgguru_arjan_hy52.jpg.5a640e3fe05afe3e399f06d0ee680bb5.jpgold-picture-of-guru-gobind-singh-and-panj-pyare-on-baisakhi.jpg.2d642ab4c76a3fab26090b54ad2b4724.jpg58b180234e200_download(1).jpg.b09054a238b881e33484fe6cae021ea5.jpg

Edited by 5akaalsingh
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Notice the earings in some of the pics

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Singh123456777 said:

Notice the earings in some of the pics

I think earings where pretty common back then, may be a status of nobility?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, 5akaalsingh said:

I think earings where pretty common back then, may be a status of nobility?

given rehitnamey to NOT wear ornaments which involved piercings  i.e. noserings, earrings etc of Guru Sahiban I outright reject depictions of Guru Sahiban with tilaks and piercings , they had need to ape the Hindu hill rajas , and the sikh women had no need to pierce their noses as this was a sign of sexual subjugation (much like a bull's nose-ring was saying they are nothing more than animals to be led by the nose). Post Misl era the weak-minded  would have adopted the fashions of the Hindus again. Ranjit Singh is not depicted with pierced ears , neither any of the akalis ....

The artists could be just using symbology in their art to mark out the leaders , much like rennaisance painters using flowers, fruit, books, skulls to indicate holy arths  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, jkvlondon said:

given rehitnamey to NOT wear ornaments which involved piercings  i.e. noserings, earrings etc of Guru Sahiban I outright reject depictions of Guru Sahiban with tilaks and piercings , they had need to ape the Hindu hill rajas , and the sikh women had no need to pierce their noses as this was a sign of sexual subjugation (much like a bull's nose-ring was saying they are nothing more than animals to be led by the nose). Post Misl era the weak-minded  would have adopted the fashions of the Hindus again. Ranjit Singh is not depicted with pierced ears , neither any of the akalis ....

The artists could be just using symbology in their art to mark out the leaders , much like rennaisance painters using flowers, fruit, books, skulls to indicate holy arths  

According to the Short History of Sikhs by Teja Singh & Ganda Singh, they describe Guru Nanak ji as: " He wore a strange motley dress, consisting of a long ochre-coloured gown, with a white waist-band, a conical cap on his head, a garland of bones round his neck, a pair of shoes of different designs on his feet, and a saffron mark on his forehead. With such a dress there was no need for him to advertise his arrival." Even when a new Guru was crowned, Baba Buddha would apply a mark on their forehead. This is a fact. 

Bhenji, Ranjit Singh was a Sikh, however Punjabism was something that you couldn't get rid of, at least not so easily. He was superstitious and would visit gurudwaras, mandirs and mosques. 

By the way, which Rehitnama tells that? Maybe that only applied to women. There were many things that Sikhs did which some Rehitnamas didn't allow. 

OK, let's think that way. If only Indian artists drew Sikhs with earings just for symbology, then why English/foreign painters also did so? 

Akalis were special amongst Sikhs. They were fighters rather than nobles.

Guru_Arjun_Dev_being_pronounced_fifth_guru.jpg

82c6b4dace8531893123c4073298c8e3.jpg

RanjitSingh1.jpg

Edited by 5akaalsingh
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

given rehitnamey to NOT wear ornaments which involved piercings  i.e. noserings, earrings etc of Guru Sahiban I outright reject depictions of Guru Sahiban with tilaks and piercings 

That's not as pronounced as you might think in surviving rehitnamay. There are so many images going way back (including one that purports to be a contemporary one of dasmesh pita) that show earrings. 

I'm not a fan of earrings (so I'm not trying to justify it), but part of me suspects the strict injunctions against these things might be yet another Victorian British accretion into the Sikh community? Maybe via the 'amrit ceremony' they introduced for Sikhs joining their army? 

 

Edited by dallysingh101
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, dallysingh101 said:

That's not as pronounced as you might think in surviving rehitnamay. There are so many images going way back (including one that purports to be a contemporary one of dasmesh pita) that show earrings. 

I'm not a fan of earrings (so I'm not trying to justify it), but part of me suspects the strict injunctions against these things might be yet another Victorian British accretion into the Sikh community?

 

the rehitnamey related to this are used to denounce tatoos too. Guru Nanak would have worn simple clothes but topi? really you think that is a valid thing , there is so many creeping misrepresentations , if in Gurbani he denounced the AGhori sadhus , the wandering fakirs , the people who pierce their ears and leave home to become jogis. Why would he wear odd shoes , patchwork clothes like a beggar mendicant ... Guru ji's Bani and kirtan announced him he needed no odd sadhu bhes . Tilak of Guru gaddi is different doesn't mean they walked around applying sandalwood tilaks everyday , you can't say on one hand they are laapariwah of clothes then suddenly self-concious enough to adorn himself with bones and sandalwood tilaks it doesn't make sense. 

we know from sakhis Guru Nanak Dev ji adopted the dress of the people he was among and spoke their languages .

 

Edited by jkvlondon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, jkvlondon said:

the rehitnamey related to this are used to denounce tatoos too. Guru Nanak would have worn simple clothes but topi? really you think that is a valid thing , there is so many creeping misrepresentations , if in Gurbani he denounced the AGhori sadhus , the wandering fakirs , the people who pierce their ears and leave home to become jogis. Why would he wear odd shoes , patchwork clothes like a beggar mendicant ... Guru ji's Bani and kirtan announced him he needed no odd sadhu bhes . Tilak of Guru gaddi is different doesn't mean they walked around applying sandalwood tilaks everyday , you can't say on one hand they are laapariwah of clothes then suddenly self-concious enough to adorn himself with bones and sandalwood tilaks it doesn't make sense. 

we know from sakhis Guru Nanak Dev ji adopted the dress of the people he was among and spoke their languages .

 

All that I'm saying is that I personally believe that certain things that were non-issues for our Sikhs ancestors in the past, have now become big issues in the community.

I think a perfect example of this is earrings.

Now, I'm not a fan of grown blokes wearing earrings because it often makes them look like fags (in the day and age and the cultural context I'm in anyway) but again, from what I see, our ancestors (including Amritdhari ones) didn't have any issues with this. 

It's the same with using what I'd call 'Indic' imagery/metaphors in art (but what has now become specifically 'Hindu' as opposed to Indic). This is so common in old Sikh culture and iconography and no-one gave it a second look, but post annexation, we've got uncomfortable with such stuff. 

Look at helmets too. Prominent Singhs used to wear these to battle on top of their dastaars but somehow, this was forgotten post-annexation and only 'rediscovered in the last few decades when surviving examples popped up in exhibitions and private collections. 

Just making the point that things have changed. I'm not saying for the better or worse. But things have definitely changed, and the main catalyst for this change was British rule over Sikhs.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first pic is a pic of Sri Guru gobind singh ji maharaj in his youth( notice the earrings)

Second pic is of Akali Baba Phula Singh(again notice the earrings)

Third pic is of Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji Maharaj(earrings!!!)

Fourth pic is of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji Maharaj(again earrings!!!)

The next two pictures are of Sri Guru Har Gobind Sahib Maharaj which are in Baba Atal Rai Gurduwara(earrings on most of the Sikhs)

The second to last picture is a picture that somebody made which depicts Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj meeting Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj(Notice that Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj is wearing earrings and Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj wearing a seli topi which was worn from the 1st Guru up until the 6th Guru)

And the last picture is of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj(earrings galore!!)

Some of these pics are contemporary pics that were made at the times of the gurus such as the Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji Maharaj picture.

All the credit goes to Bhagat Singh artist who found this information

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not for or against earrings, but I am against us being ignorant about our history. Not everything we hear from kathavachaks are true. We have to do our own research and gain knowledge about these type of things.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, dallysingh101 said:

That's not as pronounced as you might think in surviving rehitnamay. There are so many images going way back (including one that purports to be a contemporary one of dasmesh pita) that show earrings. 

I'm not a fan of earrings (so I'm not trying to justify it), but part of me suspects the strict injunctions against these things might be yet another Victorian British accretion into the Sikh community? Maybe via the 'amrit ceremony' they introduced for Sikhs joining their army? 

 

hmm practically speaking how can a warrior be active with huge earrings like that? How does the ear get pierced without doing the risk of roma di beadbhi? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bhagat Singh tried tying a puratan style dumala. This was most like what the gurus from the 6th guru onwards wore adorned with jewels and kalgi etc.

The second pic is an old mughal chola that the Gurus most likely wore instead of the choleys we wear now days.

IMG_4547.PNG

IMG_6058.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PS: I noticed the Sikh Awareness site is offline again. Do you know something dally or chatanga?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Singh123456777 said:

The first pic is a pic of Sri Guru gobind singh ji maharaj in his youth( notice the earrings)

Second pic is of Akali Baba Phula Singh(again notice the earrings)

Third pic is of Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji Maharaj(earrings!!!)

Fourth pic is of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji Maharaj(again earrings!!!)

The next two pictures are of Sri Guru Har Gobind Sahib Maharaj which are in Baba Atal Rai Gurduwara(earrings on most of the Sikhs)

The second to last picture is a picture that somebody made which depicts Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj meeting Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj(Notice that Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj is wearing earrings and Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj wearing a seli topi which was worn from the 1st Guru up until the 6th Guru)

And the last picture is of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj(earrings galore!!)

Some of these pics are contemporary pics that were made at the times of the gurus such as the Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji Maharaj picture.

All the credit goes to Bhagat Singh artist who found this information

what about the Guru Teg Bahadur self-portrait ? does he have earrings in there? 

so do you really believe Guru Sahiban wore seli topi instead of dastaar , because of course it would be unheard of artist taking liberties to keep SIkhi niaarapan to a minimum to reframe sikhi as a bhakti movement within sanathan dharam . Besides I am sure it would be easy to claim the dating to be more ancient without the carbon dating to counter it (saving the picture from cutting/damage)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×